Rosen Spotlight on Social and Emotional Learning | Reference Database

Librarians working in schools with SEL curricula will find Rosen Spotlight on Social and Emotional Learning a concise one-stop location.

Rosen Digital

Grade Level Grade 4-8

Cost The 12 interactive ebooks in Set 1 are $899.40 (school and library price). Individual interactive ebook titles are $74.95 (school and library price). (Set 2 will be available in August 2019.)

Overview For years, educators and schools have relied on social and emotional learning (SEL) principles to strengthen students’ empathy, impulse control, goal setting, and more. Starting in the 1990s, the SEL framework was developed to give young people a solid foundation in creating positive interactions and maintaining emotional health even in stressful environments. Targeting students in upper elementary and middle school, this collection of ebooks covers topics such as Hard Work and Determination, Believing in Yourself, Planning for Success, and Keeping Calm and Focused.

Content Each of the 12 ebooks has 24 ­pages, with about three paragraphs of text on the verso and a large photograph on the recto of each spread. Concepts such as self-motivation, empathy, and organization skills are explained clearly and concisely. More in-depth information is available in the “explore this page” sidebar, including vocabulary definitions (“frustrated,” “Buddhist,” “scenario”), profiles of well-known individuals, and video and audio clips (on topics including meditation and emoticons), most under 15 seconds.

Sidebars also contain further material about, for instance, Mr. Rogers’s cardigan, a discussion between Socrates and Alcibiades on self-knowledge, and Stanford professor Walter Mischel’s famous psychology experiment that used marshmallows to study delayed gratification in children.

The resource highlights noteworthy individuals who have exhibited resilience and determination, such as snowboarder Chloe Kim; tennis player Serena Williams; student activist Emma González, who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; ­Olympic medal–winning gymnast Simone Biles; and entrepreneur Steve Jobs. Ample historical figures (Abraham Lincoln, ­Mahatma ­Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt) are represented as well.

Ease of Use/Visual Appeal Users can choose between “desktop” and “mobile” views. The desktop display is attractive and easy to navigate—ideal for classroom use. Users can view each book with or without extras, which include a time line, the “explore this page” sidebar, quiz questions (“What are the two types of motivation called?”), and, in some cases, activities such as picture matching. Intuitive navigation uses “next page” and “previous page” arrows. A menu at the bottom links to the table of contents and index. Users have the option to have the books read aloud. Photos are large and appealing, depicting a racially diverse group of active children as well as newsworthy figures.

Teacher Resources Materials for educators include instructional links (which are specific to each title) and a 45-page downloadable guide (the same across all books), written by educator Mary Ratzor. This resource begins with an overview and history of SEL principles and includes lesson plans, which are each about 20 to 30 minutes long, require common classroom items (scissors, index cards, markers), and encourage students to examine essential questions: “Why should you be organized?” “How does stress affect the body and the mind?” “How does building confidence depend on knowing and believing in yourself?”

The guide also features simple but time-saving blank templates for activities. Teachers new to SEL concepts will benefit from the two pages of additional resources with embedded links to standards and ­research and further teaching resources.

Verdict Librarians working in schools with SEL curricula will find Rosen Spotlight on Social and Emotional Learning a concise one-stop location. Even in schools without an SEL framework, books such as Care and Compassion and Planning for Success give students vital information for ­successful social interactions. While young people are unlikely to seek these books out for independent reading, this resource will spark conversation in a classroom setting.

Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX

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